Obama names Queens native Jack Lew as treasury secretary

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Jack Lew, who grew up in Queens and attended Forest Hills High School, was nominated as President Obama's next treasury secretary on January 10. Photos courtesy of U.S. Department of State
Jack Lew, who grew up in Queens and attended Forest Hills High School, was nominated as President Obama's next treasury secretary on January 10.

Queens is coming to the cabinet.

President Obama officially nominated his chief of staff, Queens native Jacob “Jack” Lew, for secretary of the treasury Thursday.

“As a kid growing up in Queens, I had dreams of making a difference in the world,” said Lew at the nomination announcement.

The 57–year-old, who resided on Yellowstone Boulevard and graduated from Forest Hills High School, has been the president’s chief of staff for the last year and previously was the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

“If confirmed, I look forward to joining the Treasury Department, whose people are legendary for their skill and knowledge. It’s a team that I’ve collaborated with closely over many years and have come to respect greatly,” said Lew.

“I don’t want to see him go because it’s working out really well for me to have him here in the White House. But my loss will be the nation’s gain,” said the president.

“Having Lew on your team is the equivalent as a coach of having the luxury of putting somebody at almost any position and knowing he will do well,” Obama added.

Assuming he is confirmed, Lew will replace Timothy Geithner, who has been treasury secretary since the beginning of Obama’s first term.

“I know him as a man of exceptional judgment, calm under pressure, with an extraordinary record of accomplishment and experience over decades spent at the center of American economic policy,” Geithner said about Lew this afternoon.

Although Lew has the experience and support to take on the position, his signature may not be ready for the job.

As secretary of the treasury, Lew’s John Hancock will appear on paper money, which may be a problem since it is reportedly illegible.

At the announcement the president joked about his sloppy signature: “Jack assures me that he is going to work to make at least one letter legible in order not to debase our currency should he be confirmed as secretary of the treasury.”

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